Critique my Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by AnimaLeo, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    Hello everyone. I have been doing photography for seven months now and I just wanted an idea of some of the things I'm doing wrong so I can improve.

    All the photos are taken with my Nikon D40 with the kit lens (18-55 mm).





  2. somewhatvaguely macrumors member


    May 20, 2009
    Hey there! I hope I can critique this well, if not, well forgive me. I'll first address what I don't like about each photo, then what I like.

    The first:
    The frog isn't contrasted enough. The dark green really blends in with the dark ground and at first glance there doesn't seem to be a main focus. Maybe run that through photoshop(it seems you already have, though I may be mistaken) and boost the greens through image adjustments. Also, the angle/placement of the photo is a bit... uncreative, I suppose. It's a side profile, sorta angled upwards, smack center. And the perspective of it is kind of weird too. It's midway between bird's eye view and ground level, and that's... really confusing to me as a viewer. The frog, also, is not an interesting subject the way you captured this photo. It's just... resting, I guess. I would've hoped it way midway in action, say about to jump or something more.. exciting. You know? :)

    I really like the colors of it(mostly the ground). The blues and the orange-y hues play together nicely with contrast, but like I said, the frog which is supposed to be the focus, I assume, is definitely not. Also, I like the macro detail, you can see the eye and bumps on the skin... it's pretty cool.

    #2! Ehh.... personally, this type of photo is a bit unimaginative/cliché, but don't mind me. :p As with the first, the composition(if that is what it's called!) is all wrong. The angle of the arm/hand is too far from the body, giving it a weird, stretched-out look. Also, the hand isn't perpendicular to the arm(the tips of the fingers are leaning closer to the camera) so that's also odd in terms of 'natural' look. My eyes are naturally moving to the blurry part, but then switching back to the hand since that's obviously the focal... and I think this is because there is too much 'going on' past the hand. And it's blurry not in a not-focused way but in a ehh-what's-there way. So the eyes are being really confused. The way I would have taken this photo is with a higher angle, because with everything level, this picture is.. boringly ordinary. Oh, and you should have framed the picture so that the fingers aren't cut off at the edges.

    I, again, like the colors, though as I said, they can get a tad distracting.

    #3: Ugh. I'm sorry, but this is probably my least favorite out of all the ones shown. This photo is... nothing. It could be taken by a five-year-old standing on a chair. There is hardly ANY contrast, the angle that you took it(straight head-on) is yawn-worthy and I wasn't purposely examining it I would hardly notice it on its own. It actually looks like a 3d render of a face... Personally, I would've got a light source(a window, flashlight, lamp, whatever), placed it in a way that made the shadows more dramatic, then maybe put something under the mask to give it a more 3-D effect(right now, it's VERY VERY VERY FLAT), and angled the camera off to the side.

    I can tell you tried, and the shadows are rather nice, though they could be REALLY enhanced.

    #4: YOU HAVE TO WORK ON CAMERA ANGLES!!! You have a good camera, so the colors and quality is good, and you have a sorta good eye for cool subjects... but the way you angled it leaves much to be desired. If another photographer had the exact same subject, and exact same circumstances, the scene could be drastically altered for the better, if you understand. You aren't capturing 100% of the photo's beauty... just ehh 70%. Other than the detail of the needles, this picture is pretty, yeah, but not special. Really boring. You should have angled it either up or down to get a wider view of the needles. Also, you maybe should have widened the focus to get more of the needles, since right now only a small portion of the branch is in focus.

    I really like the bokeh in the background, and the colors are nice, again. However, I think you could enhance the blues by some quick photo-editing.

    #5: It's really busy, and again CAMERA ANGLE! Right now, EVERYTHING in this picture is sharp edged and cluttered. If you lowered the camera down so that there are some other things past the boxes, it would not look so. It's pretty flat right now, so UP THE CONTRAST and maybe increase the brightness a notch. Also, right now the focus is to the left box in the middle, which is a really horrible focus. If you did what I said before, then the box closest to the camera would be in the best focus, and that would achieve the fullest effect.

    The contrast is still nice. The subject is cool/imaginative.

    TO SUMMARIZE: You have a good camera. That means color and quality are good. But you need to work on experimentation, so try different ANGLES!!!!! Different foci. Etc.
  3. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    I'll share my thoughts, which may echo some of what was written above.


    The frog blends in with his surroundings too much, and is centered in the frame. It's difficult to photograph creatures that blend in with their environment, but it can be done. Try to get them silhouetted against a contrasting color, or else use very shallow depth of field for good subject separation. Just as important: creatures (like children) are most interesting when viewed from their own height. Yes, that usually means lying on the ground to get the shot.


    Nothing is in sharp focus here, which is off-putting. However, even if the hand were in very sharp focus, it would not be as interesting as having the face in focus instead. You would need to find some way to make the hand itself particularly interesting (maybe if she had something written on it, for example).


    The mask is centered in the frame and is presented without any setting. Since the mask isn't very interesting on its own, I feel as though we need some kind of context here--something to tell us why we should be looking at this mask.


    When you use shallow depth of field in a photo, the expectation is that the point of focus should reveal something to us. Here the part that is in focus is no different from what is out of focus. Why should I be looking at these two particular needles and not the others? Perhaps if there were a bug on the branch where the focus is...or even a big drop of water...something to give us a visual "pay off."


    This photo has no clear focal point--no "home base" for the eye, so it ends up looking unresolved. The text added at the top gives us somewhere to pause, but it's not actually part of the photo.

    Overall, I'd say you really need to work on composition. It wouldn't hurt to try doing some exercises based on the "rule of thirds" (Google it if the term is unfamiliar.) Also work on achieving depth in your photos: foreground, middle ground, background. Think about how you can use leading lines to help give a sense of depth. These are the basics, but they will give you a good foundation for further exploration. Good luck, and have fun. :)

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